Evaluation Service

‘EVALUATION’ Service – Getting your photographic images assessed and critically appreciated by Dr Pillai to enable continuous improvement of your performance. (See a note below titled “Criticism is Hard to Swallow” by Krishna Das)

A periodic assessment of your images with suggestions on how to improve them is invaluable for serious hobbyists and budding professionals. Select one of the following options:

  1. Send 10 of your selected pictures  by e-mail, and you get a Videographic Report by  e-mail - a recording of Dr Pillai’s assessment of those pictures - for a nominal honorarium of Rs 200/= only, payable in advance.

  2. Send 200 of your RECENT images for an assessment of your POTENTIAL; an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses; Dr. Pillai’s selection of TWENTY good pictures; and, a critical evaluation of TEN of the best of them, with suggestions for improving your performance – all through a Videographic Report by e-mail  -   for an honorarium of Rs 500/=, payable in advance.




  1. The pictures that you send for Evaluation will not be shared with anybody else or use for any other purpose.

  2. Each Evaluation is a personal one-on-one confidential interaction - intended ONLY for the one who solicits it IN GOOD FAITH. It will NOT be shared, copied, displayed, projected, reproduced or published in any form without the permission of Dr Pillai.

  3. All the images in a unit of evaluation should have been made by one person only.

  4. The entire exercise will be done exclusively by an exchange of e-mails, unless otherwise contracted. (Face-to-face consultation will be made only BY APPOINTMENT and for an extra honorarium.)

  5. The original folders/ files must always be retained by you. We will not be liable for inadvertent or accidental damage or loss of your folders/files or other materials.

  6. The pictures sent by you should be of the highest available resolution, and should not have been subjected to cropping or finishing of any kind.

  7. However, If you choose Option 2 above, and have to send 200 images, you may start by sending low resolution images. After scrutiny of all the images, Dr Pillai will call for higher resolution files of selected images.

  8. You may expect your Evaluation within a period of 10 working days.

  9. Confirm receipt of e-mails by a telephonic message.

  10. Evaluations can only be requested ON LINE – through a FORM  that follows


Criticism is Hard to Swallow    –  KRISHNA DAS

I am possessive with my images!

As a professional specialist in food photography, I take great pains to make each frame as tempting as it could be.  Because I am working with table-tops, I could invest all the time in the world to get them just right. And now, the art-director and the client who are standing by my side nod their heads in approval of the last of four shots. Five and a half hours of grueling studio work!  I pack up.

Quite happy with my images, I decided to send ten of my best from that session to Prof Pillai for his Evaluation. I did not give him the brief that I was given before shooting.  With uncanny sixth sense, conceiving the purpose for which the images were made, he selected five best pictures.  They included the four that were finally selected by my client! Dr Pillai greatly appreciated two of them. I felt so good! When it comes from one’s own revered teacher, it is an elixir that can take one to greater heights!

When critical remarks seemed to be coming from a loving guru who has an inexhaustible fund of knowledge and energies to bestow on me, they were no longer painful to the ear. Every suggestion from him that I implemented in my subsequent work progressively improved my performance. I realize the difference. When I am criticized, I take it personally. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, with tips on what one may do to improve, has made great sense to me. It is all a matter of faith . . . . .

I started my career in my late teens as a staff member in Pillai’s School during the ‘70s. Among the various services that he offered was this Evaluation Service, which only his own students could avail of.  He would sit for laborious long hours with their contact prints, negatives, a magnifying glass and a light-box.  It was my job to accept the material for Evaluations and return it to them with the report when they come back for it.  I vividly recall the eager expectation on each of their faces when they came for their reports.  It was like receiving the results of an examination in school!  They had no need to meet Dr Pillai after going through Dr Pillai’s comments: everything was crystal-clear.  And he wanted that they should go through the report rather than talk to him. According to him, that resulted in more learning!

Never has he delegated Evaluations even to his senior colleagues. He would say, “That is my way of taking each of them up the ladder at their own pace even after they have completed the training.” When reminded that the fee for his evaluation was in no way commensurate with the investment of time or the quality of his advice, he would say, “How else would I give of myself to those who care for it?” I realized this for myself when I became his student later on.

I remember those words today because I used to think of them frequently. And that happened because my later job assignments took me to most parts of the globe where I was in touch with the finest master-craftsmen and teachers in those regions. I have not seen the combination of two great features in a single teacher: one, a deep interest in enjoying photography as a science, a discipline, and an art; and two, an abiding love for one’s students. No where have I seen anything like his Evaluation Service – a most affordable progressive learning scheme.

Beginners need a helping hand. Yet others need a healing touch. Seasoned amateurs seek an endorsement to keep them on track. For over 55 years, here is a guru that thousands have turned to. Recently, he has begun offering his Evaluation to those who do not belong to his School. And now, the report is in an audio-visual form.  If in those days, Evaluations were made in such an easily storable digital format, today I could have sat back and reviewed some of them. Re-learning is an enjoyable experience!

In this busy world, no one has the time for you. If they have the time, they don’t have the inclination.  If they have both, they may not have the expertise, or the experience. Dr Pillai’s EVALUATIONS are truly professional: surely, a GREAT SERVICE.